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January 2010
Hillcrest Educational Centers Invited to Speak at National Conference 01/20/2010

Management staff from Hillcrest Educational Centers are presenting a new and innovative staff development and employee compensation program called Learn More-Earn More, created by Hillcrest at a national conference this month.

Child welfare professionals from around the country will head to Washington, D.C. January 24 through 27, to share best practices, learn new ideas, and advocate for vulnerable children at the Child Welfare League of America's (CWLA) National Conference - the largest and most significant gathering of its kind.

The "Children 2010: Leading a New Era" conference will focus on key issues affecting the nation's nearly half a million foster children, such as health care reform, a proposed White House Conference on Children and Youth, and the 2008 Fostering Connections Act. The conference will feature more than 50 workshops led by industry experts as well as an Advocacy Day, when hundreds of child welfare professionals converge on Capitol Hill to make a case for children in foster care.

Hillcrest President Gerard Burke said, "Since the initiation of Learn More-Earn More in 2007, we have seen impressive results, and we now have enough data to see its impact. We are honored to participate in this prestigious conference and to share those results with colleagues from across the nation."

'Learn More Earn More' (LM-EM) was developed to provide a positional career ladder, in addition to Hillcrest's existing promotional ladder, so those staff who did not want to advance to supervisory positions, could develop within their current job, receive recognition and enhanced compensation, and contribute to the enhancement of Hillcrest programs for traumatized children and their families.

Burke said, "We hoped we would see improved recruitment, fill vacancies more quickly, receive more qualified applicants, and achieve longer employee retention. We got that and much more including programming enrichment for students, and even higher participation in our training programs."

The workshop will discuss the initiative from inception, design, and implementation through current results. Presenters from Hillcrest include: M. Cris Brown, Director of Career Development and Michele Morin, Director of Workforce Learning. A $10,000 grant from Western Massachusetts Electric Company supported the development of the LM-EM Program and staff participation at the conference.

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